Despite the COVID-19 pandemic delaying many movies, among other things, the year of 2021 still managed to be an excellent year for film. There were plenty of blockbusters, dramas, and thrillers of all kinds, and there’s still a few more months of great film for the year. But, with the year in its final quarter, why not look back at this year and determine what some of the best movies released were.
Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar
This unexpectedly funny film stars Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wigg as the titular characters. Barb and Star go to Vista del Mar on a vacation, leaving the small midwestern town they came from for the first time ever.
Promising Young Woman
A black comedy about a young woman named Cassie (played by Carey Mulligan). In the film, Cassie is a former med student turned vigilante, who confronts and sometimes kills potential rapists after an incident when she was in college. The film’s full of twists and turns and is engaging from start to finish.
Moxie is about a young girl named Vivian (Hadley Robinson) as she forms a zine to fight back against the rampant sexism within her school. Directed by Amy Poehler (who also plays the protagonist’s mother), the film is just as funny as it is heartfelt.
Another comedy film, Plan B focuses on two teenage girls, Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) and Lupe (Victoria Moroles), as they travel to a to get a plan B pill after Sunny loses her virginity. It’s a fun and wild ride about accepting oneself and others.
Boogie tells the story of Alfred “Boogie” Chin (Taylor Takahashi), an East Asian teenager that dreams of playing in the NBA. However, his traditional parents want him to study hard to get a scholarship for an elite school.
A Quiet Place Part II
This film picks up right where the first film left off. Rather than it just being about survival, this film focuses more on helping others, as our nuclear family from the first film tries to help others survive the aliens.
This coming-of-age tale is about a young Indian girl named Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta). Bound to tradition by her family, a new world is opened up to her upon meeting a English advertising executive named Jessica, who introduces Prerna and her friends to skateboarding.
This film is about a Korean family that moves to Arkansas, looking for their own version of the American Dream. The trials and tribulations they face in their new home are heart-wrenching, as all they want to do is settle down.
Malcolm And Marie
This black and white drama focuses on the titular characters, a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya). While waiting for the critical response for his latest film after the premiere, the night takes a turn as revelations about their relationship begin to surface, which serves to test the strength of their bond.
One Night In Miami
This film is a fictional account of the night where Civil Rights Movement icons Mihammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered to discuss their roles in the movement, as well as the cultural upheaval occurring in the 60s.
The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things
This film is a drama about two teens stuck in a time loop. They make the best of things while they’re stuck there, learning perfect procedures to help the people around them, who aren’t aware of the loop as its occurring. At the same time, they’re also trying to break free from the loop.
Judas And The Black Messiah
This Oscar nominated film is a biographical drama about William O’Neal (Daniel Kaluya), who, after accepting a plea deal, is made to infiltrate the Illinois Black Panther Party. This is to gather information on the chairman, Fred Hampton.
I Care A Lot
This film is a black comedy that focuses on a crooked legal guardian and con artist played by Rosamund Pike. Her main focus is stealing money from older people through guardianship, but she ends up biting off a little more than she can chew with her latest ward.
A prequel to the animated classic 101 Dalmatians, the film is one of Disney’s origin films for their major antagonists. It tells the story of Cruella DeVil (Emma Stone), as she moves up through the fashion world and forms her own family and empire.
In The Heights
This is a musical drama based on the play of the same name created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It tells the story of Usnavi de la Vega, a Bodega owner hoping to save enough money to get a better life for himself.
This film is a Western-style drama starring Caleb McLaughlin as a troubled teenager and Idris Elba as his father. The teen is caught between a life of crimes and his father’s urban-cowboy lifestyle.
Zola is another black comedy film, this time focusing on the titular character played by Taylour Paige. After she strikes up a friendship with Stefani (Riley Keough), the two go on a weekend trip to Florida. The glamorous vacation soon turns sour as many unexpected characters appear and actions take place.
The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fourth phase, this film features the titular character. A long awaited film, Black Widow focuses on the origin of Natasha Romanov and the introduction of her adoptive family.
The Suicide Squad
Another comic book movie, The Suicide Squad is a sequel/soft reboot about the team of the same name. This film stepped up their game in comparison to the original 2016 film. It focuses on the team as they make their way through the fictional island of Corto Maltese, as they need to erase all evidence of something known only as “Project Starfish”.
The Green Knight
The Green Knight is an adaptation of the tale from Arthurian Legends. It tells the story of Sir Gawain, a Knight of the Round Table, and his journey for honor after making a deal with the titular Green Knight.
Bo Burnham: Inside
This film doesn’t exactly have a plot per se, and is more so an edited comedy special. It’s certainly a good time, even if it lacks a concrete plot as with the other films on this list.
Everyone enjoys a good Nicholas Cage performance. This drama focuses on Cage’s character Rob Feld, a former chef turned reclusive truffle forager. After his prized truffle-foraging pig is kidnapped, the film focuses on Feld finding them.
This comedy-horror film is about a pair of siblings that unknowingly resurrect an ancient and evil extraterrestrial overlord. Of course, with a premise like that and a name like it has, this movie will be equal parts horrific and hilarious.
The Mithchells Vs. The Machines
A sleeper hit on Netflix, this film tells the story of the titular Mitchells as they attempt to survive and stop the machine apocalypse. At the same time, the film pokes fun at the current era’s over-reliance on technology as well as current internet culture.
Raya And The Last Dragon
The latest Disney Princess to be added to the pantheon. This film focuses on a young woman named Raya, who hopes to use the strength of the last dragon in order to banish the evil spirits that invaded her homeland.